Deadline for trademark data capture process extended

Nigeria

Late last year, a memo from the office of the registrar was circulated, according to which the trademark data capture process - which had been stalled and resumed several times - was finally being completed.

That process, which is being carried out with the sponsorship and assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), has the following ultimate mandates:

  • to ensure that all “active files” (ie, registered and renewed matters that are still valid) are collated;
  • to ensure that all temporary applications (TP files) that have been published are captured; and
  • to ensure that all applications potentially proceeding to registration are collated and kept on an up-to-date, more accessible and safer electronic platform.

In this respect, a memo dated November 24 2016 from the office of the registrar was circulated to all stakeholders in Nigeria, indicating that the data capture process would be finalised by the end of 2016.

However, by January 2017 it was obvious that the WIPO officials undertaking the data capture process had expanded its mandate to incorporate ‘backward integration’, and had extended the stipulated timeline to finalise the entire process.

The term ‘backward integration’ entails that all applications/matters filed prior to the establishment of the Industrial Property Automated System or IPAS (an alternative to the manual filing system established in January 2014), which are not formerly covered by the earlier mandate, will also be catered for and captured under the electronic process. The manual filing system was fraught with various administrative and technical challenges, and it is believed that the data capture process will go a long way toward curing most of these challenges.

Regardless of the abovementioned mandate for the data capture process and the memo issued by the registrar’s office, WIPO officials thus continue to work tirelessly, on a daily basis, to incorporate the manual applications into the database.

This new development has been well received by stakeholders, who look forward to the end of an archaic system that is overdue for an overhaul.

Nkem Isiozor, Jackson Etti & Edu, Lagos

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